Tag Archives: Marilyn Funke

Murphy’s Law

December 15, 2015


Catskill Badger and Laszlo in the ring

Catskill Badger and Laszlo in the ring

What a week we’ve had during The Eukanuba National in Orlando Florida. The Catskill Pumis and their close cohort, Kaffogo Agyag have entered five shows and collected three BOB, one BOS, five BBE, five Best 6-9 months old Puppy Dog, three Best 6-9 months old Puppy bitch titles and several additional placements. Yay…!

Ildiko and Catskill Csinszka sharming the judge and spectators

Ildiko and Catskill Csinszka charming the judge and spectators

We’ve been coming to show in conformation to The Eukanuba National for four years. This year we had the largest Catskill Pumi turnout, with seven Pumis and we are proud of them all, especially the three pups from our C-litter, Csobanka, Csinszka and Csoma aka Badger.  By the time the Pumi enters the herding group next July, they will be the sharks of the conformation ring.

What have changed s

What has changed for the Pumi at Eukanuba over the years? Honestly, not too much. Inconsistent judging is still one of the most disturbing aspects of showing the Pumi in the US.

What has changed for the Pumi at Eukanuba over the years? Honestly not too much. Still inconsistent, sometimes substandard judging (I am simply puzzled why a judge need to ask the handler at the table, “how is the correct tail setting…?”) This is not to take away anything from the winners’ achievements, however, after ten years it is obvious that judges have lots more to learn about the Pumi.

Another thing I noticed that some handlers kept initiating chit-chats with the judge while stacking their dogs on the table.  I could never figure it out for what reason? I wonder whether they have had an ulterior motive…? Also, there have been some friendly fires in the ring (what happened to sportsmanship…?) and  of course the usual ringside tackling.

Standing tall... Aida Dungan and  in the Miscellaneous group during The Eukanuba National.

Standing tall… Aida Dungan and Pushkin in the Miscellaneous group during The Eukanuba National.


After ten years of Pumi history, in the United States, I am still not sure why dogs with obvious disqualifying conformation need to be shown. Trust me, I love them all equally, but some just do not qualify for the conformation ring. In my opinion, it reflects bad on the breed and all  breeders. If you remember my blogs from Finland two years ago, I noted that reputable Finnish breeders would rather not show if they do not have show quality dogs to enter.


Each dog showing at The Eukanuba National deserves its “fifteen minutes” to get a full and fair judging.

The judging during the actual Eukanuba National, I think, was quite disrespectful to all Pumi exhibitors in the Miscellaneous Breed’s ring on Sunday. The judge, Mr. Murphy, showed up 45(!) minutes late and then sorted through the breed in seconds without properly examining the dogs. He did not allow time for stacking the dogs on the table and did not look most dogs’ structure,  barely the bites. He did not let the dogs show in full circle and on the diagonal in the ring in order to catch up with the time. (Even if he has the right to do that  according to the rule book, hey this was The Eukanuba National where each dog who showed up there deserves its “fifteen minutes” to have a fair chance to be fully examined and judged.)  Another annoying surprise and significant delay was that in the “Open Bitch Class” where there were only two bitches in the judge’s book out of the five entered the show. It took additional long minutes to sort out the entry list.

Huhh... no comment

Huhh… no comment


The highlight of the chaotic judging was, when entering the ring for the 6-9 months Puppy Bitch Class, the judge walked up to me during the first going around before even reaching to the table to stack Csinszka(!) and declared her as the winner of the 6-9 months old “Puppy Dog” Class.… (!?!?!) He looked quite confused when I told him that this was the 6-9 months Puppy Bitch NOT  Puppy Dog Class. He did not care too much, simply brushed it off saying, “I guess I am a bit confused…” I wonder what the other handler felt behind me in the ring.  Those of you who missed it, Mr Murphy was also the center of discussion last year on FaceBook when judging the Pumi at one of the open shows here at The Eukanuba National.

But enough of the drama and congratulations to last day’s winners, Aida Dungan with Pushkin, BOB and Ginger Butler with Lyric BOS!

The week went fast and I think we did not realize how much we worked to groom the dogs for the shows and properly exercise them daily at Cocoa Beach and Lake Baldwin Park  to pull through the week. We also visited our Orlando Florida Pumi, Catskill Csaszar aka “ZEKE” and his family.

Visiting Catskill CSaszar aka Zeke and his family the Larkins in Orlando Florida, if you believe in reincarnation this is to place be a dog in your next life.

Visiting Catskill CSaszar aka Zeke and his family the Larkins in Orlando Florida. If you believe in reincarnation this is the place to be a Pumi in your next life.

We rigorously exercised the dogs to maintain their daily routine after each show.

We rigorously exercised the dogs to maintain their daily routine after each show. What did you do with your dog?


Our weeklong nightly culinary adventure has also been a wild ride. Korean food scored the lowest on Tuesday. It was extremely hot (spicy) and relatively tasteless food, we had a long wait at the table and an awful waiter. Dining at the“Outback”  on Wednesday, was a great testament to everything that is wrong with chain restaurants. I was also disappointed with the Turkish restaurant when comparing it to other Turkish places from the past. Even though the veranda of the restaurant was cozy, some smokers certainly “smoked” our experience. The Thai and Indian dinners were our default cuisines Friday and Saturday. Our “last supper” with almost all Pumi people present was a final and long awaited big bang at the cozy Cafe TuTu Tango. We got together to celebrate Marylin Funke’s birthday and the closing of Eukanuba week in Orlando. We got great food, great atmosphere and fast and pleasant servers. TuTu Tango was simply a nice hip restaurant with music and art works by new and emerging artists.

Egysegben az ero (you have to figure this out by yourself...)

“Egysegben az era” (you have to figure this out by yourself…)

Over the week, we have tightened our friendship with Marilyn Funke, owner of Catskill Csobanka, who has shown Kaffogo Agyag and won BOB at the KCUSA Open show on Friday. She also showed Catskill Csinszka on two occasions and she was also very helpful in changing dogs, and entry numbers between the different classes.  Thank you Marilyn!

Marika Foreman has also been there for us helping whenever she could each moment of the week, just like family. Thank you Marika and congratulations to Bikfic’s two BOB wins!

Paul Foreman’s faithful photographing of the five days, provided all Pumi aficionados here in the U.S. and abroad a chance to sit at the virtual ringside and experience the shows each day.

Catskill Csobanka, the next generation

Catskill Csobanka – the next generation

Happy Birthday Mr. President! Oops... correction, Happy Birthday Marilyn!

Happy Birthday Mr. President! Oops… correction, Happy Birthday Marilyn!

One of the nicest persons we got to know closer this week, was Aida Dungan who won BOB of The Eukanuba National” with her Pumi, Pushkin on Sunday. She is funny, pleasant and always cheerful. Hope to see you soon Aida.

I cancelled Direct TV last year because I barely watched it. Staying in Orlando, I could watch my favorite show again, put up by Nurse Jackie. Boy, I did miss her…  Did I really…?

i canceled Direct TV so when I go to dog shows I am always happy to see this character.

I canceled Direct TV, so when I go to dog shows It always cracks me up to watch this character.

Next year this time, the Pumi will already be part of the AKC “major league,” in the herding group. Hopefully it will be judged accordingly.

Dewey Defeats Truman…


October 19, 2015

Dewey Defeats Truman...Not Again!? Who has been your expert?

Dewey Defeats Truman…Not Again!? Who has been your expert?

Despite early poll results and Pumi experts’ opinions, (this latter term appears becoming more and more a misnomer) some Pumis with high expectations got “Dewey-d” at the Pumi National Specialty in Wilmington Ohio over the weekend. After seeing the results, the originally consulted experts have been scolded by opposing Pumi experts from the other end of the spectrum. (By the time of the publication of this blog we have not heard from the third, the European Pumi experts).

Man are lazy...Laszlo during the agility seminar

Men are lazy…Laszlo during the agility seminar


HPCA Agility Got Talent - hey Stacy Lehman I want to learn from you!

HPCA Agility Got Talent – hey Stacy Lehman I want to learn from you!

Right after the show, unnamed experts (not another expert…?!) close to the judge suggested that,  “based on the dogs entered the National Specialty Show over the weekend, the Pumi Breed is pretty much all over on the map in the U.S., sort of the Puli was about a decade earlier.” I guess the lessons of the 1948 U.S. presidential election have been forgotten. So next time if you want to bet on a Pumi, instead of relying on expert opinion,  listen to  “Jimmy the Greek.” (he knew about the effect of grooming…)  By the way, who has been your expert…?

Next time, listen to "Jimmy the Greek" Snyder

Next time, listen to “Jimmy the Greek” Snyder


Marilyn Funke with Catskill Csobanka

Marilyn FunMarilyn Funke with Catskill Csobanka (center), Ildiko Repasi with Catskill Csinszka (right)

Up to date, this has been the largest Pumifest in the breed’s U.S. history, held at the Eukanuba Roberts Centre in Wilmington Ohio this year.  Most participants, most performance events, most entries, most friendliness as well as most unfriendliness. The most unusual has been the formal environment, the convention center. The authoritative milieu certainly altered people’s behavior and some have stubbornly kept up their guards. No eye contacts, no greetings and patterns of avoidance behavior.

Pat Wright and Catskill Csuzli (left), Laszlo with Catskill Csinszka (right)

Pat Wright and Catskill Csuzli (left), Laszlo with Catskill Badger (right)

Even though, growing is the natural order of things, it’s been sad to see the family atmosphere and the spirited comradery fading away in history.  The breed will be getting full recognition from the AKC next year and that will put the Pumi out in the limelight. It will go big and probably will go fast.  According to the HPCA, there have also been record number of Pumi puppies born this year in the U.S. (in any shape, forms and colors.)  …And the numbers (and variety) will keep increasing as the Pumi will enter the AKC herding group. Buckle up folks and be ready for the ride. If… the roadmap is ready, the judges are prepared… and future breeders have a network to fall back on… than bring it on baby…  Why not? After all, dog breeding  is not a rocket science and everyone can  pinch in. It always takes a village…

Stacy Lehman and  hot cookie Catskill Borsika, took the agility ring by storm. Novice Standard 16" class Q and first place, also earned her novice standard title. Open Jumper with Weaves (JWW) Q and first place 16" Time to beat Q - 16" Conformation: Reserve Winners Bitch, Herding: IT one qualifying leg

Stacy Lehman and hot cookie Catskill Borsika, took the agility ring by storm. Novice Standard 16″ class Q and first place, also earned her novice standard title. Open Jumper with Weaves (JWW) Q and first place 16″ Time to beat Q – 16″ Conformation: Reserve Winners Bitch, Herding: IT one qualifying leg

Seven years old Eva Clinton, Junior Handler. Call her if you want to learn some tricks about superior dg show handling

Seven years old Eva Clinton, Junior Handler with Kaffogo Agyag. Call her if you want to learn some tricks about superior show dog handling

But lets get back to the show. In general, the event went relatively well during the weekend.  Seminars and presentations smartly, were organized in tracks and  independently so participants had the chance to get to see and participate pretty much in everything.  I might note that some events were hard to find. A central information booth with a “know everything” person would have been helpful.

Thursday and Friday there were performance events, seminars and the blood draw.   The main event, conformation was scheduled for Saturday, back to back with the banquet. Honestly, the schedule was a bit tight, and things stretched out a bit long so we ended up late from the dinner.  We had no time to refresh because we had to give the dogs a good exercise after a long day in the ring, on leash in the exhibition hall and  also waiting in the van.

Ourselves certainly have to be better organized in the future and  ask friends to help pinching in with some work in exchange for grooming, handling and training.  It is not easy to groom 10  + dogs for a show, prepare them for the ring, while also taking care of our own dogs idling.

When we finally arrived to the banquet, people were done with their dinners and the annual meeting has started in the semi-dark room with the recognition awards. Members and their dogs got recognized for their 2014 achievements.  The Catskill dogs’ eight (or so) herding titles from 2014 have not been recognized because currently we are not members of the Club.  The Club perhaps should consider a “Non-Member Membership” category for those who do not wish to be members of the Club, however, contribute to the breed’s development here in the U.S.

By the time the auction started, most people’s adrenaline level tanked and  the high anticipation of bidding on items have somewhat toned down. I am wondering whether a short standing reception with beverages and the chance for people to mingle and  get to know each other (instead of listening to the “recognition award memorial”) could have helped to elevate the mood and subsequently increase the success of the auction. Ginger Butler, Paula Stevens and Tom Levy  still did a fantastic job to resuscitate the participants to open up their wallets during bidding.  We left early in fear of falling a sleep.

 Catskill Bikfic with Laszlo in pursuit of happiness

Catskill Bikfic with Laszlo in pursuit of happiness

Sunday’s herding event at Green Gate Farm, a beautiful place I might add, witnessed some minor disturbances.  Participants had to arrive early and  wait around in the cold until the frost disappeared.  When the event finally started about two hours later, the judge got injured during the first instinct test. The event got halted and people had to wait around some more, until officials figured out what to do.  When the event continued, with herding trials, Pumis and Pulis kept “NQ-ing” in masses. No dog “Q-d” at trial or pre trial level… Not to find excuses, however, we all agreed that the sheep were way to light for Started, intermediate, PT and HT courses. The day turned out to be pretty long. Testing and trialing two breeds when dogs entering the ring one by one is a tedious proposal.   In the afternoon, some people had to leave to catch flights or simply make it back home.  We waited out our line. Hungry, dehydrated and tired,  finally, we made it.

Catskill Barsony heading to the sheep's heads

Catskill Barsony heading to the sheep’s heads

When the herding part of Pumifest was over, we returned to the hotel and had a few farewell pints with Mark Walley, our British Pumi FaceBook friend who jumped out of the computer Thursday morning in the lobby of Holidays Inn. Mark, we are so glad you came and hope to see you again in Texas next year. Bring Sharron along to double the fun.

Saying farewell to Mark Walley I don't know why we kicked out the Brits from this country they seem to be so much fun...

Saying farewell to Mark Walley I don’t know why we kicked out the Brits from this country they seem to be so much fun…


I want to finish this Pumifesto with my expert rating (self anointed) of the event.  Considering everything, I give a 3 1/2 stars out of five. Even though, it has been a risky proposal to hold both breeds annual specialities together, I would say, it mostly worked, except the long lines during the herding event.  The location was convenient, hotel, restaurant and convention center with a great dog run together in one location.  Also, I would have been happy to see an information booth, a more knowledgable ring stewart  or stuart and an announcer for the conformation show (one of the Catskill Pumis missed his entry…)

Would I recommend future Pumifests to others? Absolutely!

Will I  go to next year’s Pumifest to Texas? I would not miss it for anything!

p.s. to those who avoided me for whatever reason, won’t be a stranger next year, I do not bite, regardless, whatever rumors say. We can have fun, we might even learn from each other and hey it is only 4 days out of 365.

Hope to see ya’ll  next year!